WordPress.com Comments and Discussion Settings

WordPress.com Comments and Discussion Settings

Not every blog requires comments but most are created by bloggers who are eager to enter discussion and are aimed at community building. The ease or difficulty readers experience when commenting on a blog will influence whether or not they will return to comment again.

WordPress.com Comments and Discussion Settings

In previous posts I’ve focused on the choices of Blog, Website or Both, A Comment policy for your blog and Encouraging blog readers to comment. This post addresses several minor points regarding Comments Discussion Page settings arising in support forum discussions.

Discussion Settings are used to control how visitors and other blogs interact with a blog. The default setting on WordPress.com blogs is open comments on all posts and pages. Dashboard > Settings > Discussion is the main page for setting up commenting preferences and there are many choices you can make explained in support documentation and in this WordPressTV video.


From time to time new bloggers ask if there is a way to set the blog so that comments below posts will expand and display in a column below each post on the front page (or Posts page). The answer is “no”. Just imagine how long the front page of your blog would be if the answer was “yes” and you had lots of comments on all posts on your front page.

The front page is meant to showcase the number of posts you choose to enter here > Settings > Reading. There will be a comments link above, below, or next to each post for your visitors to click. Once clicked the form will open and the commenters’ identification data can be entered and submitted. When the title of the post is clicked it will display the post on a separate page of it’s own along with all the approved comments.


There is comment form available at the end of each post your WordPress blog and some blogs also have a contact form. After the form is completed and submitted, the name and e-mail address of the person making the comment will appear and remain visible to them. Why is that and who else can see it? If another person makes a comment are the details of person leaving a comment before them visible to them?

WordPress.com uses cookies to keep track of commenters so if someone makes a comment on your blog, the next time they come to your blog, unless they have cleared their cookies, WordPress.com will recognize them and complete the details for them. No one else will be able to view those details in comment boxes or in contact forms. The next person who comments will see blank fields. Commenters will not see each other’s details.


Dashboard > Settings > Discussion

This is the main page for setting up commenting preferences and there are many choices you can make. Scroll to >

Default article settings

___Allow people to post comments on new articles
(These settings may be overridden for individual articles.)

We can over-ride the reader’s ability to leave comments on individual posts or pages when we create them or edit them. Open a new post > Dashboard > Add New Post and scroll down to take a very close look at the module found under the editor box labeled > “Discussion”
discussion module

<—- This is where you can over-ride the default setting for comments on any given post or page. Remove the tick marks and click “Update” in the Publish module.


Go back to the main Discussion page Dashboard > Settings > Discussion

Scroll down just below the Default article settings and take note of >
Other comment settings
Automatically close comments on articles older than ___ days

If you have supplied a number there ^ then the software will comply and close the comments on all posts and pages older than the number of days that you specified, regardless of the settings on the individual posts and pages. If you wish to exclude a few posts you can use the Bulk Edit feature to do so:

Turn that setting off go to Posts, select all old posts, select “Edit” from the Bulk Actions dropdown, click Apply, select “Do not Allow” from the Comments dropdown, click Update; repeat for those “two or three” old posts, selecting “Allow”.


As shown in this detailed article Html allowed in comments (1)
some themes display the HTML you are confined to using when commenting. What these HTML tags mean and how to use them is found in Html allowed in comments (2)


As the Admin of your WordPress.com blog, you can insert images into comments. Your readers can post links to images when they submit their comments and you can edit comments and insert the image/images. If a reader submits a link to an an inappropriate image you are free to remove the link or delete the entire comment, just as you are with other comments.


WordPress.com allows you and your readers to embed YouTube videos, tweets from Twitter, and PollDaddy polls directly into blog comments by simply adding a single URL into the comment text. If a reader embeds an inappropriate video, tweet or poll on your blog, you are free to remove the link or delete the entire comment, just as you are with other comments.


There may be a time when you publish a static page and then decide it ought to have been a post or visa versa. There is no automatic way of making such a data transfer either of the text or of the comments. In both cases it will be a copy and paste move. After you have moved the text from the static page into a new draft post or visa versa and saved the draft, you can use this walk through to move the comments one at a time:

  • While logged into WordPress > Dashboard sidebar menu > “Comments”
  • Copy comments and commenters’ identification data (username, email address, URL), and paste into a simple text editor.
  • Log out of WordPress, enter the text and submit the new comment as if it was your own.
  • Log back into WordPress > Dashboard sidebar menu > “Comments”
  • Edit the newly submitted comment to remove your identification data and replace them with the original commenters’ identification data (username, email address, URL)
  • Delete the original comment.
  • Repeat until you finish moving all comments.
  • Delete the original static page or post, as the case maybe.

You can also use the same walk through to move comments that have been posted to the wrong post or page.